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Rhys Iley appointed as Patisserie Valerie group commercial director amid executive overhaul

18 December 2018 by
Rhys Iley appointed as Patisserie Valerie group commercial director amid executive overhaul

Former Starbucks senior executive Rhys Iley has been appointed as group commercial director for Patisserie Valerie as the brand looks to reinvigorate its coffee offering after a tumultuous end to the year.

The former executive of Starbucks Europe and Starbucks UK is expected to pay particular attention to the brand's on-site coffee offering.

In an email to staff, chief executive Steve Francis - who replaced Paul May in the role in November - said Patisserie Valerie were "now ready to accelerate the initiatives already underway to reinvigorate our stores".

He added: "As Rhys is a coffee enthusiast you can expect us to put more flair and energy into our coffee offering as a priority - amongst many other ideas."

It comes as Francis attempts to reinvigorate the firm's top team after historical declarations of the cash position of the company were found to have been mis-stated and subject to both suspected fraudulent activity and accounting irregularities, including undeclared overdrafts amounting to £10m.

Former finance director Chris Marsh resigned in October after being suspended and later arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. Earlier this month Nick Perrin was named to replace him as interim chief financial officer.

In November shareholders backed a rescue package for the chain that will see £15m of new shares issued to private investors following a funding injection by director Luke Johnson to the tune of £20m.

Along with Iley and Perring, an overhaul of the executive team has handed the food production and supply director brief to Jose Peralta and real estate to Andy Singleton, who has been with the company since 2010.

Francis added: "This recruitment completes - in less than a month - the assembly of an industry-leading executive team to lead Patisserie Valerie as we embark on an exciting new chapter for the business."

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